As full-time travelers we live our lives out of hotel rooms and other rented spaces. Sometimes we’ll sleep in as many as three different cities in a single week. That adds up to a lot of hotels over the course of a year. As a matter of necessity, we’ve become pretty good at finding the best places to stay.

The internet can be a minefield when it comes to searching for hotels. Enter the name of your destination and a plethora of choices can be found from comparison sites to individual hotel websites. So how do you choose which option to go for and what are the most important things to remember when booking a hotel?

Location
One of the main priorities when booking a hotel is the location. The last thing you want is to arrive and find you have an hours walk to the main tourist attractions. On the other hand, value for money is equally important and a hotel right in the centre of the action can be much more expensive. A simple way to see where your hotel is located is to search for it on the map. By typing the address into a search engine you can see where it lies in relation to the beach, the theatre, whatever attractions have drawn you to the destination in the first place.

Review Websites
Using a review site, like Tripadvisor or Booking, is a great way to read how other travellers found their experience and if the hotel is for you. Review websites are invaluable for the information that hotels will often leave out of their marketing description. It is useful to look up your short list of hotels and see that one offers a great atmosphere and helpful staff, while another offers few facilities and a boring ambiance or located above a noisy nightclub.

It is so important to book a hotel that can really set the scene for your experience. Recommendations from friends can be great to find a place that suits your personality and hobbies, but be aware that what is good for one person is not always good for another. Back up your choices by searching the internet for reviews.

Check with the hotel for special deals
Booking directly through the hotel’s website rarely gets you the best price. But sometimes hotels do have special promotions so it’s worth taking a minute to investigate.

A better approach is to contact the hotel to see if they’re willing to beat the best available internet rate. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t.